Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 

The Need for a Sabbath Rest


Wednesday 9/17/08


My husband had made the decision to leave the windows boarded up on the back of the house, removing only the bathroom board to allow light. His thoughts were that hurricane season isn’t over until November 1st. With the windows to our bedroom still darkened by the boards we slept soundly until 8 AM. No alarms this week – that begins tomorrow when my husband’s returns to work. What a blessing that he was off for a week during this time of need  (we’d planned on being out of town, just not on evacuation!).


As is my morning habit, I turned the page on my daily scripture calendar in the bathroom. Today’s verse was encouraging:


“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…and ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God that hath dealt wondrously with you.” Joel 2:25-26


We had already determined last night that we should get up and take a morning walk to stretch our sore muscles. The first stop was the court house to see what had been posted. We learned that we shouldn’t be using the local water service, which we weren’t -  we were drinking bottled water, but we were shocked to continue reading and realized we’d not taken into consideration that we’d been using ice from our ice maker that consisted of local water. Oops. We later learned that we should not be washing our dishes either - that the hot water wasn’t hot enough, but that it should be boiled. Double oops – we’d just hand washed a big counter top full that had been left from prior to evacuation. Back to paper products! Bathing and laundry use of water was okay, but not the other. Okay. Wonderful thing we have these posted communications from our officials. 


We then proceeded on our ½ mile walk to the bay. What a difference another 24 hours makes! Everywhere you could hear the buzz of chain saws and the yards were beginning to look like yards again. Folks had certainly been busy! We also noticed some of the wildlife returning. Oh that reminds me! I neglected to share a story yesterday concerning our squirrels.


Yesterday afternoon after my son returned from his grandparents he was working on a limb in our backyard as his dad and I were enjoying a bottle of water on the deck. I might add that we don’t have a chain saw and are “on the list” with his family to borrow theirs once they are complete with their yard work. My son was using a hand saw and working on this limb that stretched the entire length of the backyard touching the neighbor’s fence. We heard a noise and looked toward the fence to see a squirrel scampering our direction. He ran the length of that limb, bouncing off the handle of the hand saw and catapulting to safety in the trunk of our tree! We were startled, surprised, and pleased. The evacuated squirrel had returned home! Pixxie was delighted and proceeded to bark out a welcome for several minutes while we just laughed and enjoyed the moment.


Today along our walk we noticed more critters, but instead of birds in the air we heard helicopters. Searching the coast no doubt, perhaps heading to Galveston, perhaps with cameramen for the local news, who knows – just hopefully not medical emergencies.


Along our walk we talked to those who were working outside. One woman’s mobile home had a tree through the roof; her husband was on top with a chain saw. They rode out the storm. We told her of the announcement at the court house concerning hot meals.. Another lady shared of the different locations that the locals were running to provide breakfast and other meals. She asked if we would spread the word to those we saw. She said she had people unaccounted for in San Leon. It was heartbreaking.


My intentions were to help out again at the community center but I realized that I just needed a day of rest. Our bodies and minds have been on high alert for over a week now and today was going to be my Sabbath rest. I hated to do this, but I knew I must. This event isn’t going to be over in a week or two, it’s going to take awhile and I needed to pace myself. By mid morning my son had returned from his grandparents and he and my husband agreed we all needed a time to rest. We did venture out to the community center to get our two allotted bags of ice since we now knew we could not use the ice in our ice maker.


We needed to mail a bill so decided this was a good time to drive down to the post office in Kemah and see if the bridge to Seabrook was passable. We noticed a lot of debris that had been moved to the side of the road. There was still a boat misplaced on the bank of the water near the bridge – the news had previously shown all sorts of boats blocking 146 after the furry of Ike. These had now been moved. We made notice of several power trucks doing their jobs of reconnecting traffic signals, replacing poles, reconnecting lines. The area was busy! My husband used to be in the outdoor advertising industry so we particularly noticed the billboards that were missing their faces as well as the three that were totally twisted – instead of being perpendicular to the road for readability they were now parallel, a full 90 degree or more twist. Unbelievable. I can only image the wind force that took!


We then went back to our Kroger’s because we realized we would soon be without sugar, and you just can’t have sweet tea without sugar! We were pleased to find that they were now carrying some refrigerator items so we picked up lunch meat and hot dogs. They also had a lot of ice. Had we known that we would have purchased our own instead of taking the ones given out at the community center. Something to watch for in the future.


When we returned home I noticed my neighbor’s front door open and decided to walk over and visit with them. They had ridden out the storm and she said “never again”. We learned through an old newspaper that the eye of the storm had gone right over our community. She said it felt like the house was breathing, with the expansion one would normally feel when sucking in a deep breath. They lost power at 11:30 PM Friday 9/12/08. I neglected to find out when it was restored. She then told me that the water came in the next day with that cold front’s rain – a good six inches. They are just across the street from me; I guess our lot is just higher. Another praise for our protection. I was saddened to hear of their damages. Even more saddened to learn they do not have insurance. He is a self-employed auto repairman working out of his home and has had to seek other employment. The aftermath of this storm is causing wide spread unemployment – especially to those who work in the nearby restaurants at Kemah Boardwalk, a major local employer. I can’t begin to speculate on what will happen to our community’s economy in the future. For now I can just focus on today and trust for tomorrow.


At dusk, before the curfew, I walked down to the court house to share my photos with Constable Pam and ask if I could help out tomorrow – I apologized for bugging out on her today and she said no problem she’d use me tomorrow. The community center needs to be made ready for 30 military personal on Friday, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but inside the center were lots of donated clothing that she needed moved down to San Leon. I don’t even know what was going on there today, but the line was ending for the hot food and inside I know there were M.R.E.s and water. I’m guessing that I just need to get a good night’s rest and be ready for whatever is needed tomorrow.


I learned that my son has internet access and sometime tomorrow, before curfew, I hope to go upload my stories and my photos.


For the remainder of my evening I want to pretend things are normal. I’d like to work some in my studio to get things back in order. I have no idea the effects this storm will have on my quilting business, time will tell. But I know the Lord is in control. He has guarded and guided my path thus far, I’m not about to give up on Him now! One day at a time. I can’t overstate enough how my faith in Him has given me peace throughout this storm. He is faithful. His mercy is new every morning.

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